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Market still climbing at midday

SHANGHAI'S key stock index closed almost 2 per cent higher after this morning's trading, led by the textile and machinery manufacturers after China's cabinet approved measures to prop up the two industries.

The Shanghai Composite Index added 1.77 percent, or 37.38 points, to 2,145.13 points at 11:30am.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was up 1.03 percent, or 6.76 points, to 659.74 points.

The State Council increased the export tax rebate for textiles to 15 percent from 14 percent and pledged to help companies facing difficulties get credit. For the machinery industry, the government said it will set up a special fund to encourage technological innovation.

"PMI, a measure of conditions in the manufacturing industry, rose for the second straight month in January, signaling a recovery and boosting market sentiment," Golden Sun Securities Co wrote in a research note, "but there might be fluctuations around 2,100 points."

Changsha Zoomlion Heavy Industry, China's second-largest manufacturer of machinery for handling concrete, rose 2.92 percent to 16.21 yuan.

Youngor Group Co, China's largest maker of men's clothing by sales, added 0.11 percent to 9.07 yuan. Ningbo Shanshan Co surged 3.34 percent to 9.27 yuan.

The heavily weighted insurers and steel makers also contributed to the gains.

Baoshan Iron & Steel Co, the country's largest steelmaker, jumped 4.64 percent to 5.86 yuan while Angang Steel Co, the second biggest, gained 4.86 percent to 8.84 yuan after increases in steel prices. Wuhan Iron & Steel Co increased 4.5 percent to 6.73 yuan.

Ping An Insurance (Group) Co, the nation's second-largest insurer, climbed 6.51 percent to 33.05 yuan. It plans to build what will probably be China's tallest building in Shenzhen, the Wall Street Journal reported.

China Life Insurance Co Ltd, the country's largest insurer, rose 5.48 percent to 22.31 yuan.

Elsewhere, China Eastern Airlines Corp, the nation's third-largest carrier by fleet size, increased 3.02 percent to 5.12 yuan after Chairman Liu Shaoyong said the company has been seeking an additional capital injection from the Chinese government.

Zijin Mining Group Co, China's largest gold producer, said last year's profit is likely to be 17 percent more than the previous year's as bullion and copper prices maintained a "high level" in the first three quarters. The shares added 3.24 percent to 6.06 yuan.


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